Slow English

Podcasts about Australia for intermediate learners of English

Podcast 4 – A Barbeque in Melbourne – Let’s Do It


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Learn English while learning about daily life in Australia, with Rob McCormack

Podcast Number 4 – A Barbeque in Melbourne – Let’s Do It.


In my last podcast, I talked about preparing to go on a summer barbeque in Melbourne. In this podcast, I would like to talk to you about one of the many parks and gardens around Melbourne where you can take your family for a barbeque.

Melbourne suburbs have many beautiful parks and gardens, with many walking and cycling tracks for the people to use and enjoy. Actually, Melbourne has been called ‘the Garden City’, as all suburbs have such parks and gardens. These are filled with native and exotic trees and plants, as well as wide grassed areas where you can have a fun game of football or cricket. And crossing all the parks are long walking and cycling tracks.


At several places in the park there are wooden benches and seats, often under a large covered pergola or shelter. Other park features include adventure playgrounds for the children, nearby seats where the adults can sit and watch their children play, toilets and plenty of off street parking for your car. At several places throughout the park there are also public barbeques.


Let me tell you about such a park near my home in Melbourne. I have been there many times for a family barbeque, especially when our two boys were younger. It is the Ruffey Lake Park in Doncaster. It is 68 hectares in area and has 7.8 kilometres of walking paths. Ruffey Lake Park has a small lake (Ruffey Lake), but the best things about this park are the beautiful gardens, the large grassed areas, shady trees, children’s adventure playgrounds, walking paths and many barbeque areas. Even on a hot day, you can always find a shady spot to eat your meal and enjoy the great Australian outdoors.


The family arrives by car. As soon as the car stops in the car park, the children are out and running excitedly for the playground. The parents bring the Esky full of food and drinks, the picnic rug and any sports equipment they may have bought. They find a spot near the playground, either a nice piece of shaded grass, or perhaps there is a bench and table available under the shelter. They set up their picnic. Next one of them takes the meat and goes to the nearest barbeque. At Ruffey Lake Park the barbeques are electric. Underneath each barbeque plate is a button. By pushing this button for about 10 seconds, the barbeque will turn on. A light next to the button tells you the barbeque is turned on. It’s free and it stays on for around 15 minutes.

Once hot, scrape the hot plate clean with your barbeque spatula and lay on your meat for cooking. Mmm… There is nothing better than the smell and sound of sausages or steak cooking on an outdoor barbeque. When cooked, call the children in and pile up your plate with salads, a bread roll and some cooked meat. And don’t forget the tomato sauce!

Now enjoy the meal and the day. Another summer’s day in Australia – magic!


If you have a question or a comment to make, please leave it by clicking the comments link at the top of this story.  Goodbye until next time.


Podcast 4 Quiz - Did you understand the podcast?

You can take the quiz as many times as you like.



actually = when you say something that you think is important

adventure playgrounds = places where children can play. They have ropes, ladders and things to climb on.

available = when something is ready to be used

button = a small round dial that you can push. Normally, it turns things on

cycling tracks = a path or track where bicycle riders can go without any cars.

electric = uses electricity

especially = more frequently

excitedly = to do something in a happy way

exotic = plants which come from other countries to Australia

grassed = an area which has grass

hectares = a way to measure area. 1 Hectare is 10,000 square metres

magic = when something is very pleasing

native = plants which are found in Australia

parking = a place where you can put your car

pergola = a wooden shelter, but with no sides and sometime no roof

pile up = to put one thing on top of another

plenty = lots of

scrape = to pull a sharp blade across something. This removes the dirt.

several = more than one

shady = where there is lots of shade, for example, under a tree

spatula = a flat utensil used to lift up food, or also used to scrape the hot plate of a barbeque.

sports equipment = the things you need to play sport. For example, a tennis racket

suburbs = a part of the city where people live

underneath = when something is under something else

wooden benches = long seats made from wood. These are found in parks.

younger = when you are a child, or when you were not old


  1. Hi Rob
    I am writing from Turkey. I started to listen your podcast recently. Thank you for these podcast. When i listen you first podcast about indroduction i agreed with you. I don t understand fast English listenings. So your podcast very usefull for me. Both i listening and same time i am learning culture of your country.
    Thanks for your effort.

    • Hi Ferhan,
      Many thanks for your comment and your kind words about my podcast. I am pleased that you find them useful.
      I hope you are safe during the pandemic. Good luck with your English studies.
      Best regards,

  2. Hi Rob!

    Thank you for your efort and pasion about languages,
    Greetings from Moldova!

    Kind regards,


    • Hi Petea,
      Many thanks for your comment and for your kind words.
      Best greetings to you in Moldova from Melbourne.
      Stay safe and have fun learning English.

  3. Hi again,Rob.
    I think I love the australian culture. I love to spend a lot of time in the nature and your story make me dreams to spring and barbeque.

  4. Hi Rob, great podcast! I find it really helpful for me to learn the daily english used in Australia and about Australian culture.
    Appreciate all you’ve done for the english learners. I think it is a great contribution to the community!

    • Hi,
      Many thanks for your comment and for your kind words about my podcast. It’s great to receive such supportive feedback.
      Have a great day.

  5. Hi Rob from Moscow! I am going to Australia soon. I’ll take a camper and make a curcle around, spending couple days in Melbourn where I suppose to park in Braybrook or Coburn North. Can you advise me a barbeque sites nearby or in the city center?

  6. Hi Rob!

    Thanks for the podcast! The Ruffey Lake Park seems to be a beautiful place!
    I heard that picnic is very common in Australia, and that is there many barbeques over the parks that you can use, just need to put some coins on it.

    All want to say that the quiz an the vocabulary section are very helpful, thank you for doing it!

    Hugs from Brazil 🙂

    • Hi Alessandra,
      Yes, having a barbeque picnic is very common in Australia. Most parks have barbeques and often they are free to use. I am glad that you like the quiz. It’s fun to do a test and it’s interesting to see whether or not you have understood the podcast. Your English is going very well I think. Keep it up.
      Cheers from down under,

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